November 27, 2019
Have a happy Thanksgiving whether you think the first Thanksgiving was in
Virginia, Massachusetts or Florida!
In this Issue
  • Commentary: Happy Thanksgiving 2019
  • Virginia Report
  • Bulletin Board
  • What Can I Do?
  • Check your Calendar 

 Happy Thanksgiving 2019
The 38 British settlers who landed on December 4, 1619 at the site of what is now Berkeley Plantation, about halfway between Williamsburg and Richmond, fell to their knees and thanked the Good Lord. Little wonder that they were thankful after having survived a 75-day journey that should have taken half that time in the cramped quarters of a small wooden ship with munitions running out. The guidance provided them by the investors supporting their voyage was that they should observe a period of thankfulness for having completed the journey. Do not envision the event as a bountiful feast for it was not. The guidance document along with our own imagination of how thankful the voyagers must have been constitute sufficient evidence for Virginia to lay claim to having the first English Thanksgiving in the New World. Along with that claim in most documents celebrating the happening is a note pointing out that it happened two years before the festivities at Plymouth, Massachusetts, that are more commonly referred to as the first Thanksgiving.

The Virginia Thanksgiving is qualified as being the first English Thanksgiving for in Florida there is evidence that the actual first Thanksgiving took place around 50 years before Berkeley and Plymouth near the Matanzas River in St. Augustine, Florida. Rather than a scene like that typically thought of as Thanksgiving, the Florida First Thanksgiving would have had Spanish Conquistadors wearing armor gathering around eating salt pork and drinking red wine with local Native Americans.

From its earliest beginnings the diversity of America with the Spanish, British and Indigenous Americans was providing ample reason for a thanksgiving celebration. None of those early celebrations continued. The celebration that we know of as Thanksgiving today traces its continuous history to 1863 when President Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation during the Civil War to “render the homage due to the Divine Majesty for the wonderful things he had done in the nation’s behalf and…to subdue the anger which has produced and for so long sustained a needless and cruel rebellion…and finally to lead the whole nation through the paths of repentance and submission to the Divine Will back to the perfect enjoyment of union and fraternal peace.”

The thought of recognizing one’s blessings and being thankful for them predate any events or proclamations. Sometimes in times of strife and conflicts we can forget how fortunate we are. Celebrating a holiday and witnessing the generosity of giving that is a part of Thanksgiving give us pause to take stock of where we are as individuals and as a nation. The challenges of the present remind us that we are not starting a new nation; we are building on a history of progress in human rights and prosperity unlike any other time in human history. We have institutions that will endure. We have and continue to acquire scientific knowledge that can be applied to sustain our civilization.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, being thankful for what we have and recognizing our opportunity for a brighter future.
Virginia Report 
Tune in to Ken's television program, Virginia Report, on  YouTube. Ken interviews state and local leaders who are making news by making a difference. 

Current show: Delegate Plum talks with Doug Loescher and Mark Scarano of the Made in Fairfax Network
Vote for Reston Holiday Parade in USA Today's
Top Ten Favorite Holiday Parades in North America
The Reston Holiday Parade has been a holiday tradition on the day after Thanksgiving since the first parade marched in 1991. Now in its 29th year, the parade through Reston Town Center features antique cars, musicians, dancers and floats carrying special guests and local dignitaries.  Vote here .
Blanket & Coat Drive for Syrian Refugees 2019
Now Through December 9
From now through December 9, NOVA Relief Center will hold its annual Blanket and Coat Drive for Syrian refugees. Fairfax County Board of Supervisers Chair Sharon Bulova's office and many other locations will serve as donation sites for gently used coats and blankets. Visit  to find your nearest donation site .
Fairfax County to Participate in
Historic Resources Survey of Reston
As part of the survey process, properties will be photographed, mapped and documented to include information about a building’s style, construction date, a detailed architectural description and a preliminary evaluation of a property’s relative significance. The state and county plan to hold a joint public information meeting this fall to kick off the project, and the community will be briefed on the survey’s findings when it is completed early next year. For more information, contact Denice Dressel,  Department of Planning and Zoning  at 703-324-1383, TTY 711. More is at Historic Resources Survey of Reston.
What can I do? Civic Involvement
Learn How You Can Advocate for Preserving the Environment
In preparation for Virginia’s 2020 General Assembly session, Virginia Conservation Network and its Network partners are convening for a preview of what’s in store for our natural landscapes and resources. For those who can't make it to Richmond, there is a watch party at National Wildlife Federation Reston Office: 11100 Wildlife Center Drive, Reston. Agenda, tickets and information about watch parties is at VCN General Assembly Preview.

Calendar of Events
Friday, November 29, 11:00 a.m., Reston Holiday Parade, at Reston Town Center. The one-of-a-kind, one-hour, half-mile parade along Market Street also welcomes the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus in a horse-drawn carriage. Since 1991, rain or shine, the parade has been an annual tradition on the day after Thanksgiving. Details are at

Friday, November 29, 12:30 to 4:30 p.m., Reston Town Center Train Rides , 11900 Market Street, Reston. Proceeds from the mini-train rides between 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. benefit Cornerstones.

Saturday, November 30, 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., Lake Anne Small Crawl, at Lake Anne Plaza, 1609 Washington Plaza, Reston. Celebrate the small businesses and professionals that make Lake Anne so special with a group "small crawl" (walk) around Lake Anne. Meet at Bronze Bob at noon and then visit participating businesses to sample what they have to offer with a "small deal" selection. Details are at Lake Anne Small Crawl.

Saturday, November 30, Vienna Small Business Saturday. Shopping local has many great short and long-term benefits. Not only do the dollars spent directly boost the local economy and help increase job opportunities in Vienna, a portion of the taxes collected go directly to enhancing infrastructure (roads, sidewalks, etc.) in the Town of Vienna. Details are at Small Business Saturday

Sunday, December 1, 9:00 a.m., 6th Annual Friends & Family 5K Give Back Race, at 11923 Triple Crown Road, Reston. Each year, every cent of the race donations goes directly to the charity. This year we are raising awareness and funds for Cornerstones, a nonprofit organization that promotes self-sufficiency by providing support and advocacy for those in need of food, shelter, affordable housing, quality childcare, and other human services. Volunteer, donate or sign up for the race at Give Back Race.

Monday, December 2, 6:00 to 8:30 p.m., Church Street Holiday Stroll. Church Street in Vienna is closed to traffic and transforms to a walking holiday shopping fest! Toasted marshmallows, Music and SANTA on a fire truck. More is at Holiday Stroll.

Tuesday, December 3, 5:30 to 8:00 p.m., Trip to Winter Walk of Lights. Bus pickup: RA Headquarters, 12001 Sunrise Valley Drive. Ages: 55+ Fee: $28/RA Members, $32/non-members. Email or call 703-435-6577 with any questions. Register through WebTrac (activity #407221626-01).

Thursday, December 5, 7:30 to 9:00 p.m., CSC Native Plant Propagation and Seed Swap, at Vienna Community Center, 120 Cherry Street SE. Join the Town of Vienna’s Conservation and Sustainability Commission (CSC) for an informal talk about propagating native plants from seed, followed by a seed swap. There’s still time to plant seeds that will bloom in the spring! More is at Seed Swap.

Thursdays, December 5 & 19, Caregivers Support Group. Free program of Shepherd’s Center of Oakton-Vienna (SCOV). SCOV hosts a support group for caregivers of adult family members with dementia the first and third Thursdays of each month, year round. The facilitated meetings are from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Fairfax, Program Building, 2709 Hunter Mill Road, Oakton, VA 22124. Come any time in that period. Contact a facilitator, Jack Tarr, at or visit Download a flyer.

Saturday, December 7, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Jingle on the Lake, at Lake Anne Plaza. Come early to hear holiday music, participate in cookie decorating and other activities around the plaza and see the plaza decorated for the holidays. Santa arrives by boat at 12:00 noon! Schedule and more information are at Jingle on the Lake.

Saturday, December 7, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Alternative Gift Market, at Unitarian Universalist Church in Reston, 1625 Wiehle Avenue. Learn more at UUCR Events.

Saturday, December 7, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Maker Market and Artisan Faire, at NOVA Labs, 1916 Isaac Newton Square W, Reston. Handmade gifts by our artisans using robotics, electronics, 3D printing, programming, woodworking, yarn & fabric arts. More information is at Maker Market.

Saturday, December 7, 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., “The Snowman in Concert” presented by Madison High School Choir and Orchestra, at James Madison High School auditorium, 2500 James Madison Drive, Vienna. Family-friendly event--following the movie, families can enjoy light refreshments, crafts, and a chance to meet the Snowman and/or take a picture with Santa. Purchase tickets at The Snowman in Concert.

Saturday, December 7, 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Gifts from the HeART Shopping Event, at RCC Lake Anne. Beautiful original artwork, remarkable ceramics, stunning jewelry and many other one-of-a-kind items will be sold by the artists themselves. For more information, visit Gifts from the HeART or contact Gloria Morrow, Arts Education Assistant, at 703-390-6187.

Saturday, December 7, 4:00 and 7:00 p.m., The Reston Chorale presents their Wonder of the Season holiday concert, at Reston Community Center at Hunters Woods, 2310 Colts Neck Road. To reserve free tickets for youth (17 and under) or active duty military, visit or contact the RCC Box Office at 703.476.4500 x 3. Adult and senior tickets are also available at the Box Office or online.

Saturday, December 7, 4:00 to 8:00 p.m., GRACE Monster Drawing Rally, at Signature Apartments, 11850 Freedom Drive, Reston. Join the Greater Reston Arts Center (GRACE) and artists from across the DMV for a live drawing event and fundraiser--turning the evening into a public performance as over 50 artists create unique artworks on-site using their preferred media. Works will be available for purchase. All proceeds benefit the exhibition program at GRACE. Open to all and free to all. ( Monster Drawing Rally)

Monday, December 9, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Santa Coming to The Closet. Children can have their picture taken with Santa. Directions are at The Closet.

Tuesday, December 10, 7:00 to 8:30 p.m., Public Forum on Wage Theft, at Centreville United Methodist Church, 6400 Old Centreville Road, Centreville. The following topics will be discussed: wage theft, what other states are doing to combat it, and what needs to be done in Virginia to resolve this issue. The forum will also be discussing issues affecting immigrant and nonimmigrant workers in different sectors of work. Free; tickets at Wage Theft.

Friday, December 13, 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., The Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis' 6th Annual Policy Summit, at Omni Richmond, 100 South 12th Street, Richmond. Join leading policy experts, community partners, nonprofit leaders, grassroots organizers, and other advocates from around the state to engage with and learn from others on critical issues facing Virginia and how we can collectively pursue a prosperous future for all. Agenda for the day is at Policy Summit. Registration and costs are at Tickets.

Saturday, December 14, 10:00 a.m., Gun Violence Awareness Vigil at National Rifle Association headquarters, 11250 Waples Mill Road, Fairfax. The vigil commemorates the anniversary of the day 26 children and educators were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Please DO NOT park in the NRA's parking lot. There is plenty of free parking in the office building lot on Fairfax Ridge Drive across Waples Mill Road. Signs and flags will be provided.

Saturday, December 14, 4:00 p.m., Reston Community Orchestra Holiday Concert "Nuttin Like the Nutcracker," at Aldrin Elementary School, 11375 Center Harbor Road, Reston. Concert is free--suggested donation levels and other details are at Holiday Concert.

Tuesday, December 17, 7:00 p.m., The Reston Chorale's Annual Messiah Singalong and Coat Drive, at Chapel of St. John Neumann Catholic Church,
11900 Lawyers Road, Reston. Tickets and more information are at Reston Sings!